In 2014, Microsoft unveiled its plans for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme, since then it has evolved drastically. Currently customers have the choice of purchasing Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Azureand Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online through the partner channel.
But what does this mean for partners and ultimately you - the customer?
What Microsoft expects from their Cloud Solution Provider partners
With the Microsoft CSP programme, partners can join as Tier-1 or Tier 2 providers, with different expectations and criteria from Microsoft partners at each tier.
To qualify for Tier-1 status, a partner must be able to provide:
- Microsoft cloud value added services– Customers are demanding more from their partners and as such, Tier-1 partners must provide project services, managed services or their own IP.
- Customer support– Microsoft is also looking for partners with managed services IP, technical expertise and with broad market reach who can provide 24×7 support, technical integration and handle the customer lifecycle.
- The Tier-1 partner is approved by Microsoft and orders seats on behalf of customers directly from Microsoft.
Tier 2 CSP providers
- For partners who are not able to provide the services mentioned above they can become a Tier-2 provider allowing them to still own the customer relationship whilst an approved CSP distribution partner provides the end billing and service support.
What are the benefits of the CSP model for customers?
Easy billing – The customer benefits from the simplicity of a single bill to pay. Customers can painlessly manage the purchase of partner tools, products, and services with their subscription in one consistent and predictable monthly bill.
A single first point of contact – Partners directly deliver, manage, and support the customers giving them one point of contact for all their business management requirements.
An established and trusted relationship – Customers will have more frequent partner interactions which can serve to deepen the relationship.
Customers can have more than one CSP – Customers are not tied into one partner for all the products they wish to purchase, this allows customers to seek out the most effective partner for separate products which may represent different partner skillsets. With the CSP programme partners having a greater understanding of their customers’ business needs, challenges and how to help them reach their goals. In addition, they have direct access to customers’ systems allowing them to deploy, provision and manage a customer seamlessly. Through delegated admin access partners can often resolve issues more quickly than Microsoft and without the need to contact Microsoft support.
TheTechworx.com as your Tier-1 Cloud Solution Provider
Ultimately the Cloud Solution Provider programme offers another business model for consideration when looking at deploying a business management solution in the cloud.
If you would like to know more about the programme and how TheTechworx.com as a Tier-1 CSP and a Microsoft Silver Partner can help you manage your business' cloud solution requirements, please contact us.
If you would like to activate TheTechworx.com as your Cloud Solution Provider now, access the invitation here